By Emeka Nwokocha
Personalities from all walks of life, under the eagies of Committee of Friends, on Tuesday, 2 February, 2021, converged at Galaxy International School, Warri, to pay glowing tribute in honour of their departed friend, Barr. Andrew Ukpebitere.
Speaking at the event, Comrade Marcus Ekure, who was virtually present, said he received the news of his demise with rude shock. He described late Ukpebitere as a dependable personality, resolutely committed to improving the well-being of the society. Continuing, Ekure, recalled the doggedness and sincerity with which Ukpebitere led the members of the Democratic Delta Youth Movement (DDYM) to interrogate the chequered political system in Delta State, in a bid to promoting good governance in the state. Ekure added that the impactful life Ukpebitere lived coupled with his exemplary legacies would remain indelible in the sand of time.
Comrade Benjamin Amioku, described Ukpebitere as a shrewd administrator, dogged civil rights advocate and a bulwark at the political front, noting that his commitment to the defense of the vulnerable class in the society was phenomenal. Continuing, Comrade Amioku said that Ukpebitere was a butterfly that brought colour to the life of everyone that came in contact with him.
“Barr. Ukpebitere lived for humanity and stock his neck for the good of all. He was a fearless and redoubtable personality that had many innovative attributes that stood him out as a rare gem. He was a staunch believer of credible men who could be entrusted with onerous tasks. And in finality, he was a role model for many upcoming young men who hold him in high esteem,” he stated.
Mr. Handsome-Hero Oneyibo, remembered late Ukpebitere for his philanthropic gesture, kindness, love, generosity, and commitment to friends. He described him as a dependable friend, an astute scholar and a goal getter with enviable charisma that endeared him in business and political associations.
Mr. Stephen Edafe, described Ukpebitere as a close associate, a childhood friend and a confidant. He recalled the interesting episodes of events that defined their friendship and bonded them as inseparable pair over the years.
Continuing, Edafe said that Ukpebitere was a resourceful and energetic young man blazing the trail in various spheres of human endeavour, adding that he was a goal getter with the right attitude to accomplish laudable feats in any task he sets out to undertake.
Comr. Eki Greg, described Ukpebitere as a philanthropist, a leader and a radical scholar imbued with mentorship prowess. He said, “Barrister Ukpebitere was an icon of hope to many youths whom he had empowered, including women. His accomplishments are indelible legacies that immortalise him as a man of honour, a crusader of social justice and good governance.
Also, teachers, pupils, and students of Galaxy International School, took turns to honour Ukpebitere, who until his death was the Director of the school.
Miss Chukwu Forstina, former punctuality prefect at Galaxy International School, spoke eloquently about late Ukpebitere in an emotion laden voice. She solemnly pictured his humane character in her narration of his selfless service to humanity. She said, “Barr. Ukpebitere was a vibrant and modest personality. He taught me that there are circumstances that beckon at us to have compassion for the needy. One of the obvious instances of his generosity and humane disposition to humanity usually play out whenever pupils and students who have not paid tuition fees were being denied access into the school. He would usually tell the secretary to listen to the children’s complaints, saying, ‘it is not easy; ours is a society where most parents cannot meet their daily needs; parents struggle day and night to feed their families, even as many cannot pay their children’s school fees; it isn’t easy for parents!’ Most times, students write their exams while they haven’t paid school fees. That’s the legacy he has left for us. He would often say that it is not all the time we think about money, money, money! He would say that we should think about the future of the young generation!”
Continuing, Forstina said, “Barr. Ukpebitere left a legacy for me; he charged me to be bold and courageous, and that I should look and strive beyond my age; l should listen to the plight of people in difficult situations, and l should love and listen to the cries of the poor citizens.” Forstina described Ukpebitere as a man with heart of gold, saying, “he gave scholarships, he empowered men, women, youths, and children.” She said, we shouldn’t just come here to cry; we should look at his photograph (pointing at Ukpebitere’s photograph in the banner) and ask ourselves, ‘why is he smilling?’ He is smiling because he knows that he left a legacy for us; he is smiling because he knows he didn’t leave this world empty-handed. Even if he didn’t accomplish all that he came to achieve in this world, at least, he did something very remarkable and memorable. And l encourage all of us that as we mourn our beloved Director, friend, and brother, we should see possibilities ahead of us, and l pray for his soul to rest in the bossom of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Amen!”
In the same vein, the Director General of Omega World Entertainment, Pastor Jerry Otuedon, described Ukpebitere as a great motivator with rare gift of creativity. He said that Ukpebitere was the patron of Omega World Entertainment, and contributed hugely to its development and achievements in recent times.
Engr. Ochirue Collins, described Ukpebitere as an exceptional young man with distinguished potentials, reasonably humble and respectful. He said that Ukpebitere was his younger brother, always determined to do great things.
Late Barr. Ukpebitere hailed from Urevwe quarters in Evwreni kingdom, in Ughelli north local government area of Delta State. He had his primary and secondary education in Warri. He proceeded to University of Benin where he studied law and was called to bar in 2011/2012 session.
He was the first President General of Democratic Delta Youth Movement (DDYM) and former National Youth Leader of Labour Party (LP). He had a stinct in politics and was a former aspirant of the Delta State House of Assembly, Ughelli North Constituency l. He was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Galaxy International School. He was married to Precious Oke Ukpebitere, and had a beautiful daughter, Princess Freda Urhirinoghene Ukpebitere.